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A Metaphorical Destruction of American Racism

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Message Herbert Calhoun
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A Review of Isabel Wilkerson's Book: "Caste the Origins of our discontents

A Metaphorical Deconstruction of American Racism

Without ever using the word, this book reads back to us in rich metaphor, the "lived" drama of America's story of racism.

Had musical notes, or oil and canvas done a better job of deconstructing its truths, I have no doubt the author would have used them too.

But she chose to reveal the truth of her subject by speaking the language of metaphors. Uploading a wheel-barrow full of them.

Like a hot iron is used to smelt steel, metaphors are used here to beat the truth about American racism into a more "seeable" and into a more permanent structural form, one that slippery small penis minds and small male hands cannot easily reshape with lies, guile and alternative facts.

She agrees with Mary Trump, that America's original sin is not slavery, but having erected a caste system based on the psychological power of the slave system, and then willfully and conveniently forgetting that it was the instrument used to sculpt America's social order.

Act, by historical scene, she is the voice in our heads telling us what we already know (" and have known for two and a half centuries).

No more "on the one hand this," and "on the other hand that" wiggle room remains. No virgins remain in our morally-singed homeland, either.

After this book, the truth of racism is fixed forever. It can no longer be manipulated back into willful, normalized, comfortable socially-sanctioned white lies.

With the explication of the role of caste, the truth of this uniquely American racist drama now stands frozen in time like a Robert E. Lee stature in Virginia.

She takes up where Frederick Douglass, WEB Dubois, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, and James's Baldwin left off.

Like their's, her pictures too are exactly as dark and as scary as is our collectively-lived reality.

That it lands on the American mind heavily is of no consequence.

The deepest truth of this beautifully laid-out drama is that the "jig of race is finally up."

We are all free to give it up now because it has done all the damage it can do.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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